William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Thursday, 9, June, 2011

Safety Forced.

Filed under: Forensics — williamthecoroner @ 16:17

I probably shouldn’t find this funny, but, so help me, I do.  I was recently reading an autopsy report of a suicide.  Elderly white woman, found dead at home, with a single submental (under the chin) gunshot wound from a .38.  Left a suicide note, had chronic health problems, no family, etc., etc.

The thing is, she was wearing ear protectors.  Shooting muffs, to prevent the sound of the gunshot from damaging her hearing. Now, I’m all for safety, but I just don’t see the point, here. And I think it’s hysterically funny.


  1. Maybe she wasn’t trying to protect her ears. Maybe she just didn’t want the last sound she’d hear in life to be the click of the trigger. Or the bang of the shot, although, I’m not sure if she’d have heard that. . .? Anyway, I think I understand. It seems like a way of distancing herself from what she was doing. It’s a shame people in her situation have to resort to something like a gun. I think assisted suicide should be legal everywhere — on demand.

    Comment by Lynn Caban — Thursday, 9, June, 2011 @ 17:13 | Reply

    • As sound is transmitted by bone conduction, it’s a failure no matter what her desires were…

      Comment by williamthecoroner — Thursday, 9, June, 2011 @ 20:53

  2. Ah… Um… Er…. I don’t EVEN know what to say…

    Comment by Old NFO — Thursday, 9, June, 2011 @ 17:19 | Reply

  3. I think it is extremely funny as well, if a bit odd.

    Lynn, she obviously needed no assistance.

    Comment by Glen Weaver — Friday, 10, June, 2011 @ 15:22 | Reply

  4. That’s just terribly sad all the way around. And I agree with Lynn — assisted suicide would have made her last moments far more dignified and less horrible. Our pets get the gift of better last moments than that poor woman.

    Comment by oleandertea — Friday, 10, June, 2011 @ 23:31 | Reply

  5. Was she wearing eye protection, too?

    Comment by Kevin H. Baker — Monday, 13, June, 2011 @ 15:03 | Reply

  6. Maybe she had the weapons problem that I do — expected loud noises from the gun can cause me to move my hand up a little when I’m aiming.
    It’s not logical, it’s just a human startling reaction… for no good reason. I was much better at target practice when I had hearing protection on and the right caliber.

    Poor lady.

    Comment by rj — Tuesday, 14, June, 2011 @ 21:33 | Reply

  7. Probably habit. It is deeply ingrained in some that you put on your hearing protection before you pick up your gun. Or, maybe she was afraid she would fail in her objective and did not want to be deaf if she survived. Not really logical, but she was not really thinking logically to begin with.

    Comment by samky — Wednesday, 15, June, 2011 @ 06:29 | Reply

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